SAM LANGUAGE by fionan


R. S. Bourke MAAC 204L If you find yourself confused by all the types and competition classes of SAM (Society of Antique Modelers) aircraft, you are not alone. Even experienced fliers find the rules for SAM competition confusing, there being so many types of aircraft, engines, and competition formats each with a different set of specifications. It is no wonder why the sport flyer can't fully understand the language of SAM competition, especially when much of it deals with competition types that existed over 50 years ago. SAM classes include not only engine-powered R/C aircraft, but also R/C electric-powered aircraft, and a whole gamut of free flight classes. I won't even try to cover all the competition classes, not even all the R/C classes. But the following glossary of terms and basic rules may help to de-mystify the unique language used in this branch of model aircraft. I include a basic description of the SAM classes that we will be flying at the Aurora Old Timers' meet this summer. 1. Purpose of SAM Flying The mission in SAM is to recreate and fly, for sport and competition, the many vintage designs that revolutionized model aircraft free flight competition in the first decade of engine-powered flight (1933 to 1943). It is not the mission to advance the state-of-the-art of aeromodelling or engine technology. In fact many competition SAM fliers use the original spark and compression ignition engines that were used to power these old time aircraft before the development of the glow plug. Glow plug engines are allowed in some classes of SAM competition, not necessarily because of their superior performance, but because of the limited supply and often-high price of antique engines in good running condition. SAM flying is basically "climb and glide". In competition, scoring is done by timing the flight from launch to touchdown. Except for some special events, models are not judged for appearance or workmanship. After the model has climbed under power to as high a height as possible, SAM flying is similar to flying R/C sailplanes in that the pilot looks for thermals to keep the aircraft aloft. The aircraft flies by itself, the R/C system being used only to trim and steer. Generally, the less the pilot changes the control inputs the better the airplane flies! (Some old timers call it R/D or "radio-disturbed" flight!) 2. Aircraft Types Competition aircraft are selected from lists of approved designs for which proof exists of their vintage; "Old Timer" - a model aircraft, originally engine-powered, that was designed, kitted, or published prior to 31 December 1942. "Antique" - same as above, except to 31 December 1938. Aircraft are sub-categorized into "pylon" and "fuselage" types. (Pylon types are not allowed in some events). Generally, aircraft must be built according to the original design, but not necessarily to the same size. For many events, a design may be scaled up or down to suit different engines. Only minor modifications are allowed in construction, to strengthen or lighten and to add control surfaces. Proportions, outlines, cross sections, moments, airfoils, landing gear, etc. must remain the same as the original. Modern innovations such as foam wings, fiberglass fuselages, etc. are not allowed.


3. Wing and Power Loading All SAM aircraft, with the exception of 1/2A, are subject to a minimum weight of 10 oz/sq.ft of wing area. For 1/2A Texaco and 1/2A scale Duration, the minimum weight is 8 oz/sq.ft, (6 oz/sq.ft for multiplane scale aircraft). All aircraft with glow or converted ignition engines must have a minimum wing area of 225 per 0.1 of engine displacement. There is no minimum power loading on original ignition aircraft. 4. Competition Types There are two basic ways of limiting the powered portion of each flight; by length of engine run or by the amount of fuel allocated. "L.E.R." (Limited Engine Run) - After launch, the engine is allowed to run only a specified number of seconds. It is then shut off and the aircraft glides for the balance of the flight. Texaco A measured quantity of fuel is inserted into the tank, and the engine runs for the duration of the fuel allotment. The aircraft then glides for the duration of the flight. All L.E.R. aircraft and most Texaco classes require an R/C engine cut-off (fuel shut-off or ignition kill switch). R/C of a carburetor is not allowed for most classes, except to be used as a shut-off. All SAM aircraft must be capable of R.O.G. (Rise off Ground). For some events the contest director may allow hand-launches (usually only 1/2A Texaco events). Landing must be in a designated area (usually large); otherwise a zero-time is recorded. 5. Engine Types Engines must be conventional reciprocating piston types (no Wankels, etc.). Classifications are by vintage, type of ignition, and size; "Original Ignition" - pre-1950 spark-ignition or diesel "Glow" -post 1949 glow-ignition and diesel engines - sub-categorized into "cross-scavenged" or "Schneurle" according to the porting system. "Converted Ignition" - engines converted to spark ignition Class 1/2A 0 .050 c.i.d. Class A* 0 .200 c.i.d. Class B .201 .300 c.i.d. Class C** .301 .650 c.i.d. * -in Class A Texaco, the smallest engine allowed is .052 c.i.d. ** -engines to 1.20 c.i.d. may be used if they are original spark ignition. 4-Stroke engines are de-rated 60% for open-rockers, 80% for closed rockers. (eg. a Saito .30 open-rocker would be considered to be .18 c.i.d.) By displacement:


6. Engine Run Times For L.E.R. and the Antique category; Schneurle Glow 18 sec. 5 sec/lb Cross-Scavenged Glow 23 sec. 6 sec/lb Converted Ignition 28 sec. 7 sec/lb Original Ignition 35 sec. 8 sec/lb

Event L.E.R. Antique*

For the Texaco classes, fuel allotment is as follows; 1/2A Texaco 5.1 cc fuel (the size of a Cox Texaco Junior tank) A Texaco 14 cc fuel for all class A engines Texaco* 4cc/lb. of aircraft. * (Aircraft weights are rounded to the nearest lb.) Strategically, in L.E.R. the competitor selects a powerful engine, to climb as quickly as possible within the time of the engine run. In Texaco, the competitor selects a fuel-efficient engine (usually diesel or sparkignition running on gasoline), and uses a large prop, intake restriction, and other tricks and techniques to produce long runs. 7. Competition Classes For the Aurora Old Timer meet, the following classes will be flown. (Note that, in several of the competition categories, a maximum flight applies. This means a flight longer than the maximum will score only the maximum flight time.) 1/2A Texaco -open to any Old Timer or Antique SAM-legal aircraft, scaled or original size, powered by a Cox reed valve engine with 5.1cc tank. Propeller diameter cannot exceed 8". No power-loading rule applies, and a fuel shut-off is not required. Three attempts are allowed for two official flights, maximum flight duration of 15 minutes, and the total of two flights being the score. Ties are settled by a fly-off with no maximum. 1/2A Scale Duration -open to any replica of a piston- engine powered full size aircraft designed before 1943. Powered gliders are not allowed. SAM construction restrictions apply, (ie. foam is not allowed except for scale details, no ARF's, etc.). Models are not judged for scale, but a reasonable effort must be made to simulate scale proportions colouring, markings, etc. Multiplane aircraft can fly with a reduced wing loading of 6ÿoz/sq.ft. Otherwise, all rules for 1/2A Texaco apply. A Texaco - open to any Old Timer or Antique, scaled to any size, with any SAM-legal engine (including derated 4-strokes) from .052 to .20 c.i.d. Fuel allocation is 14cc. Three attempts are allowed for two official flights, 15-minute maximum, and the total of the two flights being the score. Ties are settled by a fly-off with no maximum. Texaco -open to Antique aircraft only, scaled to any size, with any SAM-legal engine. Power loading rule applies if engine is not "original ignition". Fuel allotment is 4cc/lb. of aircraft. Three attempts are allowed for two official flights, no maximum. The best flight is scored. 90 second Cabin - open to any Old Timer or Antique cabin model, scaled to any size, with any SAM-legal engine. Power loading applies if engine is not "original ignition". Engine run is 90 sec. regardless of engine size. Three attempts are allowed for two official flights, no maximum. The best flight of the two is scored.


Antique - open to Antique aircraft only, scaled to any size, with any SAM-legal engine. Power loading rule applies if engine is not "original ignition". (Note: "Pure Antique" is a subset of the Antique class, where only "original ignition" engines are allowed, and the model must be original size. However, for our contest, the Antique and Pure Antique classes are combined.) Engine runs are based on model weight (see para. 6). Six attempts are allowed for three official flights, 10 minute maximum, total of the three flights being the score. Ties are settled by a fly-off with no maximum. "A-B-C LER Original Ignition" and "A-B-C LER Glow" -In a large contest these would be separated out into 6 competition classes, but in smaller contests, the three engine sizes are often combined into one contest. However we try not to combine Original Ignition and Glow categories because of the large difference in power output between antique engines and modern Schneurle-ported competition engines. Both events are open to any Old Timer or Antique aircraft, scaled to any size. The power-loading rule applies to the A-B-C LER Glow category only. Engine runs depend on the engine category and the type of porting. Six attempts are allowed, to make three official flights, 7 minute maximum, the total of the three flights being the score. Ties are settled by a fly-off with no maximum. 8. So there you have the SAM R/C rules in a rather big nutshell! But these are only the basics. It would take another several pages to cover all the finer details, nuances, special competition classes, etc. etc. But if you can absorb the basics presented here, you are well on the way to understanding the language of SAM competition. Don't forget, many SAM flyers don't fly the competition classes. They build SAM aircraft for the nostalgia or the fun of it, or because they simply like the graceful way these aircraft fly. Come out to the Old Timer's weekend and see a good cross section of SAM flying for yourself. Bring a stopwatch if you have one, and help out with the timing. When you time flights and compare the differences, you will understand better what this branch of our branch of the hobby is all about. ............................................................

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